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Minutes for SB41 - Committee on Transportation

Short Title

Clarifying that a violation of the statute requiring seat belt use is a traffic infraction.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 5, 2019

 

The Chairperson opened the hearing on SB41.

Mr. Siebers briefed members on the bill.  He stated that the current seat-belt law is ambiguous in that it does not clearly fit into the violation classifications and thus can be interpreted either as a traffic infraction or a misdemeanor.  The bill designates it as a traffic infraction.

Mr. Smith returned to speak as a proponent for the bill.  He commented that different agencies have interpreted violation of the present seat-belt law as a traffic infraction and others as a Class C misdemeanor.  As a consequence of the latter interpretation, a violator who incurs three such infractions will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.  The bill clarifies seat-belt violations as traffic infractions (Attachment 2).

Mr. Smith responded to members’ questions:

  • The seat-belt law is an anomaly; it is not listed in the Uniform Fine Schedule.
  • Deleting lines 11-19 (subsection (b) of the existing statute may have unintended consequences and the subsection should be retained in the bill.  Members discussed how the bill’s wording might be interpreted. The Chairperson commented that several options were considered in developing the wording of the bill and that the present wording seems the simplest way to accomplish the purpose of the bill.

The Chairperson closed the hearing on SB41.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:54 a.m.The next meeting is scheduled for February 6, 2019.